From the very beginning I feel like the GMI program is a welcome challenge to my career, both in a professional perspective as well as personal one. Being one of the first international students in the program entails a phantom responsibility of meeting up expectations; fortunately, everyone here at Rice has been extremely attentive and kind, especially Dr. Richardson and Sheretta, making sure I quickly adapt to any scenario I was not used to already. This has helped me embrace the challenge with ease and confidence, making sure I live up to my own expectations without much thought to what others may think. I have set the bar high, and I will do my best to reach it.
During the first few days in the program we worked through many lectures and activities that will help us understand ourselves and each other for what is to come in the rest of the program. Not only did we get to thoroughly analyze our personalities, strengths and weaknesses, we started building the foundations of our team. I am sure that thanks to the valuable input we got from Dr. Van Kleek, we have begun to forge bonds that will have to endure all the projects (and adventures) that await us. I have a very positive initial impression of my peers, I am glad we get to work together for an entire year. Hopefully everything will work out very smoothly as we all seem to be open to ideas and criticism.
Another aspect of our program that keeps reminding me of how good a choice I have made (and the honor that it is to be a part of it) is the emphasis given to social responsibility from a global perspective. Dr. Leautaud presented us with impressive case studies about simple ways of making the difference in developing nations; I am hopeful that, not only will we get the chance to work within the same line of thought, but also provide the same or greater levels of innovation than what we are being exposed to. I personally liked how we were presented with both ends of the spectrum: Rice 360 works with limited resource scenarios while the TMCx shows us what can be accomplished in more developed business environments. I am glad we get to explore how things work in different markets and contexts.
Near the closure of our orientation we discussed what we will be doing in our internship down in Costa Rica. In my case, I am more than thrilled to be a citizen of this year’s summer internship host country. Firstly, I am getting a hands on experience in the medical device industry where I get to apply the lessons I previously mentioned and more. Also, having the opportunity to do so in Costa Rica helps me fulfill my personal goal of participating in a pioneering field that may one day contribute to the development of my own nation (and hopefully beyond). Lastly, I get to share the experience with most of my team and by doing so I hope we can further strengthen our bonds for the rest of the program. I am certain that not only will we work well together but also have some fun on the side – I definitely enjoyed the bowling session we had in our last day of orientation in Houston.
Going back to my initial concern, my stance on how challenging this opportunity may be remains as it is. I must live up to a multitude of expectations: my professors’, my supervisors’, my teammates’, and in a sense, even my country’s. However, considering what I learned in the past few days, I believe that as long as I focus mostly in fulfilling my own expectations and enjoy all the aspects of learning that arise from this opportunity, I can overcome this quest both individually and as a part of a brilliant team.